On July 15, two independent artists and 11 companies from Chicago performed at the Dance Center of Columbia College, and the night before, 11 other local groups took the MCA Stage. Ballet, ballroom, Bharatanatyam, breaking and other forms popular here weren’t represented but, overall, the six hours of dance gave those visiting Chicago for the conference a pretty good idea of the diversity of movement and talent in a rapidly expanding scene.
Unsurprisingly, Lucky Plush Productions’ reference-filledMemory Mash was a hit with the first showcase’s industry crowd. A frenetic, mercurial duet from Luna Negra director Gustavo Ramírez Sansano’s Toda Una Vida benefited over its Harris premiere from the intimacy of the space, as did Alejandro Cerrudo’s Blanco, a women’s quartet for Hubbard Street. Julia Rae Antonick, Jonathan Meyer and composer Joseph St. Charles’s new work, Twice, showed that team’s impressive run of collaborations continuing, and Muntu Dance Theatre brought down the house, per usual, with an all-male finale.
Highlights during the Dance Center program included Hubbard Street 2’s Alice Klock and newly promoted main company member David Schultz in Andrea Miller’s I Can See Myself in Your Pupil, Paul Christiano’s ADHDivas for Chicago Dance Crash, a tap sextet performed by Chicago Human Rhythm Project’s BAM! ensemble (including founder Lane Alexander), and Francisco Aviña in WHAM OF SAM, for Ron De Jesús Dance.